Prep 3 hrs
Cook 25 mins
This is a recipe I developed over 20 years ago for a friend who claimed she couldn’t bake bread. It is written to be used with a large mixer with a dough hook attachment. Do not skip any of the steps or risings – you will be disappointed. If you have bread flour (high-gluten) you don’t need to use the gluten. If you don’t have “10 grain” cereal, use any whole grain cereal. Do not use oatmeal, you will have poor results. At the very end of the directions are additional ideas for amendments.
- 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup whole grain cereal, uncooked (10 grain)
- 3 tablespoons molasses or 3 tablespoons honey or 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup water (approx 105F)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 egg
- 1⁄3 cup non-fat powdered milk
- 1⁄3 cup wheat gluten
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups warm water
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1⁄2 cup flax seed (amendment*)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Be sure to assemble all ingredients before starting. All ingredients should be room temperature for best results.
- Fill mixer bowl with hot water and let set for a minute or two to warm. Discard water.
- Combine cereal, molasses or other sweetening, and hot water. Stir to mix.
- Add yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. If yeast is not working after 10 minutes, you may need new yeast, or your water may have been too hot. Start over.
- If yeast has made mixture foamy, go to next step.
- Fit the mixer with the standard beater.
- Add egg, milk, gluten, oil, salt and water. Mix on low to combine.
- Add 3 cups whole wheat flour, and mix on low to combine. Batter should be about the consistency of cake batter.
- Turn mixer gradually to high, and beat for 5 minutes (use a timer!). Batter should be very smooth and creamy.
- Scrape down beater and bowl.
- Cover bowl loosely with waxed paper or plastic wrap, then with a kitchen towel wrung out in hot water.
- Set bowl in a warm place with no drafts. (I open my oven door part way, which leaves the light on, and place bowl in oven).
- Allow to completely double in size. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Check frequently, it really makes a mess if it overflows.
- After sponge has risen, put bowl back into mixer stand and fit dough hook. Put mixer on low for a few seconds to deflate sponge.
- Leaving mixer on low, gradually add 1 cup whole wheat flour. Continue mixing until flour is fully incorporated.
- Again, leaving mixer on low, begin adding unbleached flour no more than a quarter cup at a time.
- (Always err on the side of less flour – too much makes a hard, heavy and dry loaf).
- Continue adding flour and mixing until dough cleans the bowl and slaps against the sides as it rotates.
- Increase mixer speed to low-medium and continue kneading for 10 minutes (timer, please!).
- Turn off mixer and turn dough out onto a floured table or board.
- Make an indentation in the lump of dough and add amendments if you are using them. Fold dough up around amendments and turn over.
- Knead by hand until bread feels silky smooth and amendments are well distributed.(you will feel the whole grain cereal and amendments). This takes about 5 minutes. You may be incorporating some additional flour as you knead, but this should be very minimal.
- Second Rise:.
- Using a clean bowl (or wash your mixer bowl and re-use), heat bowl with warm water. Dry. Put about 2 teaspoons of olive oil in bottom of bowl.
- Form dough into a large ball, and put seam side up in bowl, turning until seam is on bottom and oil coats entire ball.
- Cover as before and allow to rise until double. Dough is doubled when a finger placed on the dough makes an indentation that does not bounce back.
- Shape and Bake:.
- Handling dough carefully, turn out onto floured board as before. Using your fingers, very gently deflate the bread.
- Shape as desired. I usually shape into 2 free-hand round loaves. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with vegetable spray.
- Cover again as before, and allow to rise about 15 minutes.
- Remove bread from oven (if using to rise) and preheat to 375°F.
- Using a very sharp knife or clean razor blade, slash the top of the loaves a couple of times to allow steam to escape. Be careful not to deflate loaf.
- Bake in lower third of oven for 20 – 25 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, bread will be about 195F when done. Old-fashioned way is to thump with knuckles and listen for a hollow sound.
- Remove to cooling racks. Bread can be eaten about 10 minutes later.
- Allow to completely cool before sliding into a plastic bag or bread saver for storage.
- Amendments should not total more than ½ cup total.
- Green pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, hulled sunflower seeds.
- Toasted almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans or cashews.
- Sun dried tomatoes with a clove of crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons fresh basil.
- Any fresh or dried herb combination with nuts or seeds.